Home Run Derby 2010: 10 Guys Who Should Be in It
Every year the Home Run Derby is one of the most anticipated events of the baseball season. There is nothing boring about watching baseball's best hitters try their hardest to hit bombs 500 feet.
However, there is always some controversy surrounding each year's participants, and inevitably there will be someone who hits only one or two long balls.
Brandon Inge from the Tigers actually laid a goose egg in last year's contest.
This year, the National League will be represented by Corey Hart, Matt Holliday, Hanley Ramirez, and Chris Young.
The American League side will feature Miguel Cabrera, David Ortiz, Nick Swisher, and Vernon Wells.
Although all of these batters are very worthy participants, there are still many players who have equally strong cases for being on the big stage Monday evening.
Here are the top 10 snubs from this year's Home Run Derby.
10. Joey Votto
Votto, the National League's Final Vote winner and co-home run leader at the All-Star break, should be hitting long balls Monday night.
Votto has hit 22 home runs, and he leads the NL in numerous hitting statistics. The Reds' first baseman became well-known last week when every baseball analyst around the country appeared outraged at the fact that Votto was left off of the roster.
Thanks to the fans, Votto did make it to Anaheim, and MLB should have capitalized on that national popularity by putting him in the Derby.
9. Carlos Pena
Pena didn't make the All-Star game, but that should not stop him from being in this year's Derby.
Pena has hit 18 HRs to go along with 54 RBI for Tampa Bay this year. Both of those stats are amazing considering that Pena is only batting .203 this year.
Apparently Pena is only trying to hit home runs this summer, so he should be putting all that practice to use in Anaheim on Monday night.
8. Adam Dunn
Because of the logjam at the first base position in the National League, Adam Dunn is not on the All-Star team. However, as with Pena, that should not stop him from representing his league in the Home Run Derby.
Dunn has hit 22 bombs this year, and he has been a major reason why the Nationals have improved in 2010.
Dunn is best known nationally for tackling catchers in plays at the plate and for appearing to not have any other interest besides hitting long balls.
Quite frankly, Dunn is a giant at the plate, and fans would love to watch the Nationals' first baseman hit long balls in Anaheim.
7. Paul Konerko
Konerko is now on the American League roster because of Justin Morneau's concussion.
The White Sox first baseman has hit 20 HRs this year to go with 63 RBI and also has a .299 average.
If Konerko was in the Home Run Derby, it would be great if ESPN allowed White Sox broadcaster "Hawk" Harrelson to call Konerko's swings. Harrelson is known for being a very "home town" broadcaster, and his home run calls would bring much more entertainment to this year's contest.
6. Jose Bautista
For some reason, baseball's home run leader will not be participating in the Home Run Derby.
Bautista is making his first-ever appearance in the All-Star game this year, and that trip should include an appearance in the Derby as well.
The Toronto outfielder has belted 24 home runs this season for the Blue Jays.
Given the fact that Bautista wasn't voted in the All-Star game by the fans, his lack of national popularity is probably the most likely reason he is not in this year's Derby.
5. Vladimir Guerrero
Guerrero will be the American League's designated hitter Tuesday night in his ninth All-Star game appearance.
This time around, he won't be playing the night before the big game. Guerrero won the 2007 Derby in San Francisco, narrowly defeating Alex Rios.
Guerrero has bounced back tremendously this season after a subpar 2009 campaign. With 20 HRs and 75 RBI at the break, he has already surpassed his totals in both those categories from a year ago.
4. Ryan Howard
The National League's reserve first baseman will be missed in this year's Home Run Derby. Howard has participated in three of the last four contests, and he won it all in 2006.
Howard has hit 17 home runs in 2010, and he would definitely put on another great show for the fans.
Howard advanced to the second round in two of his Derby appearances, and he still managed three long balls when he didn't advance out of the first round in 2007 at San Francisco.
3. Albert Pujols
I will give Pujols a break because he has participated in two of the past three home run contests.
Pujols also doesn't have a natural home run swing, and he finished fourth in both of his derby appearances. However, it would still be great theater if the best hitter in baseball returned to the event for his third appearance.
One thing that is great about the Home Run Derby is that the best players in baseball are eager to participate, unlike with the slam dunk contest in the NBA.
Pujols is currently the face of America's game, and his participation in the Derby would compel even more fans to watch on Monday night.
2. Josh Hamilton
The Rangers' outfielder will forever be remembered for the 28 blasts he hit in the first round of the 2008 derby.
Hamilton will be starting in the outfield this week for the American League, and he should be one of their Home Run Derby participants as well.
Hamilton has hit 22 long balls this year, and after not participating in the derby in 2009, Hamilton should return to the event that made him a household name just two years ago.
1. Prince Fielder
The 2009 Home Run Derby champion should be allowed to defend his title even though he did not make the National League's All-Star roster.
Ryan Howard was allowed to participate in the 2007 Derby despite not being selected to play in the Midsummer Classic, and there is no reason why Fielder shouldn't be allowed to participate.
Fielder has already racked up 20 HRs this season, which places him in a tie for eighth in the majors.
Fielder is a fan favorite throughout all of baseball, and he would certainly make this year's Derby much more exciting.